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I have searched for this, but nothing really hit the spot.

I'd like to clean several hundred pieces of track in preparation to using them, but I don't want to spend days doing it. Any specific "shortcuts" to cleaning them up?

I've cleaned up some stuff by just using the Dremel with a wire wheel for any rust, scrubbing it with detergent, drying it in the oven, and finally hit the tops with Scotch-Brite. Is that as good as it gets?
 

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Depending on what kind of track you are cleaning, the Dremel/wire brush may be causing more damage than good (some track is plated). My personal preference is the use of Googone applied with a Scotchbrite, followed by 90% isopropyl with a paper towel to remove the Googone and the oils/gunk is dissolved.
 

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For rust city, the wire wheel rules on a bench grinder. Hang on tight. Scotchbrite "coarse" is preferred. Just think of it as form of meditation, I listen to classic music, such as my first class home video.

 

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I think the wire wheel is going to be as good as you can do. You shouldn't remove enough plating to worry about. Use a softer wire wheel.

I have regressed to only cleaning the tops of the rails and the pins. Sometimes this leaves the sides somewhat rusty. Last time I checked, real railroads use rusty rails that are shiny on the top. As for Goo Gone, I haven't ever found a piece of track with any significant amount of oil or grease on it. It is always rust.
Bruce Baker
 

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I cleaned some pretty old/rusty track a while back using a brass wire wheel mounted in my drill press. Worked great, though I had to be a bit careful/patient in way of cleaning around the ties. And ... most importantly ...

Wear heavy leather gloves when using the wire brush wheel in the drill press!

Also, the wheel can/will cut into the chrome finish on newer track a bit, so I suggest you go this route only if you're trying to clean up older, beat up track.

TJ
 

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I think you can salvage almost all of it. I have used track that had holes rusted through it. However, the problem of cleaning the rust out of the open end of the rails is a serious one. I have not discovered an easy to do this.
BB
 

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I don't think the welder's tip cleaners are going to remove the rust. They are not abrasive at all. They are for removing carbon and are designed to protect the hole in the tip from becoming oversize.

I have a small set of jeweler's files that work but it is tedious if you have a lot of track to do.

Bruce Baker
 

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Does anybody "out there" make bronze or brass pipe cleaner like stuff? I.e., lots of little bristles on a long, thin, bendy strip???

TJ
 

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I poked around on the 'net blindly earlier today for any brass or bronze pipe cleaner like things, but to no avail ... didn't see anything like that.

TJ
 

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I have tried using a drill bit, but I don't think it worked very well. It also leaves some FOD unless you clean up the metal chips with a magnet. If you do that, put the magnet inside a plastic bag so you can easily get the filings off of the magnet.
BB
 
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